1. Education

Cleaner Chemistry

Learn about the chemistry behind soaps and detergents, as well as other chemicals that can be used as cleaners.
  1. Cleaning Tips (8)
  2. How Cleaners Work (11)
  3. Projects with Cleaners (10)

How Soap Cleans
Have you ever wondered how soap cleans? Here's an explanation of how soap works and an introduction to saponification, surfactants and emulsifiers.

How Febreze Works
Does Febreze remove odors or merely mask them? Here's a look at how Febreze works, including information about its active ingredient, cyclodextrin, and how the product interacts with odors.

How Do Detergents Clean?
Learn about the chemistry behind the cleaning power of detergents.

What Is Bleach and How Does It Work?
Learn what a bleach is, get examples of different types, and find out how bleach works.

How Does Borax Clean?
Borax is used as a multipurpose cleaner and bleach. How does it work? Learn how the chemistry of borax relates to its cleaning power. These same properties are also associated with certain health hazards.

Bathroom Chemistry Quiz
Do you know about the chemistry of excretion and toiletries? Let's find out! Take this multiple choice quiz and test your bathroom knowledge.

Bubble Science
Learn about the science behind bubbles. Find out what bubbles are and how they behave.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent in the Dishwasher?
Yes, you could put laundry detergent in your dishwasher. Should you? Probably not. Here's why.

Chemistry of Hard and Soft Water
Do you have hard water or soft water? Both? Do you know why? Get the definitions for hard and soft water, learn about their chemistry, and examine the pros and cons of each type of water.

Common Household Chemicals - Dangerous Mixtures
Labs have lists of chemicals that don't go together, but it isn't as easy to avoid dangerous mixtures with home chemicals because they aren't pure substances. Here's some help. Be safe and don't mix these common household chemicals.

Household Product Testing - Science Fair Project Ideas
Science doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't require specialized lab equipment! These are ideas for science fair projects that involve testing or comparing common household products.

How to Remove Ball Point Pen Ink
Ball point pen ink is not a something that you can usually remove with simple soap and water, but there is an easy and inexpensive way to remove pen ink from surfaces or clothing.

How to Remove Rust Stains
Rust stains can be a challenge to remove because the stain consists of tiny iron oxide particles, plus some treatments actually set the stain rather than remove it. Use a little chemistry know-how to successfully remove a rust stain.

Saponification Reaction Instructions
Making your own soap can be a time-consuming process, but you can demonstrate the saponification reaction quickly and easily by reacting oil of wintergreen and sodium hydroxide to make sodium salicylate.

Soapmaking Instructions
These are the instructions for making your own gentle hand or face soap. It's work, but worth the effort!

Why Are Phosphates Used in Cleaning?
Here's a question and answer from the About Chemistry forum.

Why Is It Harder to Rinse off Soap with Soft Water?
Soap lathers better in soft water, yet it's harder to rinse off than if you rinsed with hard water. Why? The answer lies in understanding the chemistry of soft water and soap.

Stain Remover Chemicals
Stain removal can be tricky business, especially when it involves delicate or prized materials that you don't want to accidentally ruin! Do you have a favorite chemical for removing stains? Share your secret or read ideas presented by other readers.

Uses for Bleach and Vinegar
Mixing vinegar and bleach strengthens the cleaning and disinfecting properties of the chemicals, yet it also produces toxic vapors. Do you mix vinegar and bleach for specific purposes? If so, what is your use of the mixture?

How To Make Homemade Drain Cleaner
Here are 2 ways you can make homemade drain cleaner to unclog your drain cheaply and effectively.

Is It Safe To Drink Bleach?
Learn whether or not it is safe to drink bleach, what happens if you do, and how to use bleach to purify drinking water.

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